Sunday, September 1, 2013

Aspen Wildfire 2013

California currently has something like 51 major wildfires burning and once again we find ourselves choking on smokey air. Today it is the Windy Peak fire affecting us, I think. The Rim fire is burning to the west of us on the west side of Yosemite National Park but the majority of that smoke is blowing north of us into the Reno Nevada area.

The Rim fire has burned about 220,000 acres so far and it is only 40% contained. It will be weeks before it is fully extinguished. The folks up in Reno are engulfed in smoke just like we were when the Aspen fire was out of control southwest of us. I took the following photos on the way home from the little town just south of us on July 31st.
The smoke settled low in the nooks and crannies of the valley.

We had been living in this crud for weeks but it was a very different thing seeing it from the outside in.

The Aspen fire did make for some "fiery" sunsets.

Coming around the bend...

Wow! Look at the color of the air.
 At this point I was thinking "and we are driving right into that?!"

Our mountains should be just up ahead in that black cloud.

Naturally smoked beef...a specialty of the west. Slow smoked by Mother Nature.
Ok... I'll stop.

Airport to the right...there should be mountains to the left.
Our little town is in that area on the right.

Amazing. The mountains were completely obscured.

Just to give you an idea of what this view usually looks like, the photo above and below were taken from about the same spot. The one below was taken from farther away though.

We couldn't see our pumice mountain until we drove into town. Ugh!

You can see that once you are in the smoke you can't tell how bad it really is...your lungs feel it though! Cough. Gasp.

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